10. September 2022



Ballett am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg

Choreographies: Demis Volpi / Gil Harush
Music: David Lang / Wooden Elephant after SOPHIE
Viola Blanche (Soprano), Helene Erben (Alto), Mirko Ludwig (Tenor), Sönke Tams Freier (Bass) / String Quintet Wooden Elephant (live)

40 Dancers

Coproduction together with the Beethoven Festival Bonn and the Theater Bonn.

Dates & Tickets

Denis Volpi (*1985 in Buenos Aires, of German-Argentinian origin), as of the start of the 2020/21 season, is Ballet Director and Head Choreographer at the BALLETT AM RHEIN. The Goethe-Institute lists Volpi as one of “50 Modern Dance Choreographers in Germany”. He has been awarded the Erik Bruhn Prize, Chile’s Art Critics’ Circle Prize, and the German Future Dance Prize. After his successful ballet/drama KRABAT with the Stuttgart Ballet he was named in Stuttgart House Choreographer, a position he held until 2017.

Storytelling fascinates Volpi and he explores the possibilities of narrative in ballet. A ballet of the future that does not forget its roots – that is the pursuit of the 50 strong corps at the BALLETT AM RHEIN.  In a two-part program with live music, singers, and a string quintet, that will take place shortly after its premiere in Düsseldorf on September 7, 2022, the BALLETT AM RHEIN will perform at the Opera House in Bonn under the auspices of the Beethoven Festival Bonn.

On New Year’s Day a girl lies dead on a street curb. She had previously been unsuccessfully trying to sell matches. No one till then had even bothered to notice her. Now people are gathered around her in sad devotion and grieve over her destiny. They don’t have the least suspicion with what dreamlike visions of a better, warmer life she left this world.

Dennis Volpi in 2018 conceived this work using vocal music from the American composer David Lang (born 1957) for John Neumeier’s National Youth Ballet in Hamburg. It is an intimate elaboration of Hans Christian Andersen’s classical fairy tale “The Little Match Girl”. It is a small work dealing with big dreams and utopias that are at once fragile and powerful. For The Little Match Girl Passion, which will be performed for the Düsseldorf Ballet live with four vocalists, David Lang received in 2008 the Pulitzer Prize in Music.

The French Israeli choreographer Gil Harush reaches out towards visions of community in society.

How can I decide which version of myself I am, when I leave my house in the morning? How much influence does my shoe heel or a necktie have on how people around me perceive me? Gil Harush uses Sophie’s album Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides.  The Scottish artist and producer Sophie, who passed away in 2021, kept secret for many years her trans woman identity until she came out in 2017. Her music for the performance has been arranged and will be performed live by Wooden Elephant. Wooden Elephant is not your typical classical string quintet. The musicians rework original iconic pop albums and bring together classical music and pop with much fantasy. The reworking of Sophie’s album has been commissioned by the BALLET AM RHEIN in cooperation with the Beethoven Festival Bonn.


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Dates and Tickets